Monday, March 08, 2010

The (Un)Welcome Mat or Please Wipe Your Feet & Don't Let the Door Hit Ya Part 1

I don't have a guest room.

Partly, this is because we don't actually have a room in which to set up a guest room.

Even if we did have the space though, I'm fairly certain Lex and I are of the same mind when it comes to visitors. We love you, you're perfect, now leave.

This has absolutely nothing to do with any visitor in question. Whether it's a friend, a mom1, a lover - it's no reflection on the person visiting and instead has everything to do with how we both operate in the safety zone we've created at the Grotto.

Generally, we are very focused, solitary people at home. Both writers, we spend an extraordinary amount of time reading, writing, and reflecting. The space we've created is, in some ways, like living in a protective selfish bubble. We do what we want, when we want, and we don't get in each other's way. Tossing in the energy of another person then who unwittingly treads on the balance of our routine can be rather trying on our nerves...

Especially first thing in the morning.

Here's the deal. Yes, I'm an early riser. I'm kinda freaky that way. Even if I've stayed up until 3 or 4 in the morning, it would not be unusual for me to be up as early as 5:30 or 6 on a weekend morning doing what I do.

What is that, you ask? It depends on the day. Usually it consists of drinking coffee, reading e-mails and news articles, writing, and completing the occasional sudoku puzzle.

Do you want to know what it's not? Like ever? Social hour.

I am perhaps one of the most ungracious people in the morning. Oh sure. I roll out of bed with a smile and joy nearly every day. But that's because I'm eagerly anticipating that me time when no one is awake to bug me.

In other words, I need time to put on my game face...and the most critical component of that game face is having copious me time. Truthfully, I need to be able to prep for human interaction. Because while 85% of me does love people despite some of their best efforts to keep me from it, I'm also 15% misanthrope.

This need for morning me time2 isn't exclusive to when I'm at home either. It applies to any time I've gone avisiting myself. For example, whenever I stay the night at a POSI's (person of significant interest) house, there is an understanding that, come morning, I'll likely be gone before the POSI has even begun to think about rolling out of bed. Again, this bears no reflection on my feelings for that person. I'm not angry or bored or anything of the sort. I'm just ready to get back to my own space.

Trust me. It's for the best this way.

Even when I go to my mom' the house in which I called home during the latter part of my teens...I don't typically stay for more than a night and am home by noon the next day. And you all know how much I love my mom.

The longest I've gone visiting at someone else's home is 8 days to Jenni's house in Seattle...twice. Normally, I would consider that too long but because it's Jenni, she and I can make that work for us. She understands my need to have my alone time and it's especially helpful that she and her monkey like to sleep in as often as they can which leaves me plenty of alone time for whatever I'd like. It's also just long enough for us to get filled up on each other but not so long we never want to see each other again.

And I guess that's the balance I try to strike when visiting. For me, a lovely visit is 4 days. I can prepare myself for that and enjoy myself thoroughly. Since I know I can't get back to my own space, I can create my own imaginary space for a short burst. After the 4th day however, I can nearly guarantee there will be crankiness and a bad attitude. You'll want me to go home then. Really.

By the way, none of this actually applies to traveling together to a destination that is not someone's home. Hotels and foreign places offer a neutrality for me. There is nothing inherently routine-like in traveling...except for, perhaps, the hoops and hurdles of navigating an airport and airport security. Everyone's routine is consenually disrupted during travel and there is no subconscious desire for territory. I can't gaze longingly at my little nest and wish my companion would go away so I can do my thing. There is no nest. There is adventure. And that's a completely different fabulous thing.

So if you ever spend the night, please do not be offended if I grumble or ignore you entirely in the morning. Also, the invitation to stay for more than a night is not likely to arrive unless circumstances are extenuating. It's nothing personal. It's possible you'd be welcome to spend two nights...if you promise to leave for several hours inbetween. I can work with that too.

But that's just me.

1: His mom, in particular, comes over the "hill" about once a month or so and typically spends the night with us.

2: Hee hee...I shall call her Morning Me. I can't help it if I think in movie lines, OK?

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